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Reframe This!

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Laurie: I came back from Virginia in a freezing rainstorm. Unable to get a taxi due to a Rangers game at Madison Square Garden, me and my rolling suitcase hoofed it for fourteen wet, windy blocks. Soaked to the knees, I squished into the living room to turn on the television. I had been in a news-free zone for three days, and I was dying to hear if there was really a guy who tried to blow up his underwear (kinda destroys the whole seventy-two virgins incentive, doesn’t it?). My television screen remained black. Egads! My sacred computer was in danger. Sadly, I was too late. My little modem only had one blinking light instead its usual robust five. The cable company did little to allay my anxiety—there was not a cable blackout in my area so teams of dedicated Time Warner people were not working on my problem. Saturday night and the soonest appointment was Monday. What’s a tired cableless gal to do?

I want my. I want my. I want my HGTV. And Food Network back on my TV screen. On New Year’s Day both channels disappeared and all that was left was some male voice saying that Scripps Network was trying to rake Cablevision through the hot coals. So they messed with Christmas with some fool with a bomb in his briefs, and now Cablevision is holding millions of viewers hostage. With two less channels what sort of discount can be expected? Is that a bomb in your briefs or are you happy to see me?

Laurie: One of my favorite coaching techniques/tools/tricks is reframing. It’s another euphemism for rose-colored glasses or making lemonade out of lemons. Take a ridiculously difficult situation fraught with dreadful luck, dire circumstances, and unbelievably bad timing and turn it upside down. Find something to be grateful for, put a silver lining around it, and stop yer whining. Yeah, and while you’re at it, fix that hunger problem, eradicate racism, and get started on world peace. Difficult? Yes. But when put into perspective—my grandmother had no problem living without cable to the first fifty-five years of her life—it is possible.

elizabeth: So my grandmother wants her damn Food Network back, and put some vodka in her lemonade. I am drafting a letter for her to get her man, Guy Fieri of Diners, Drive-ins and Dives back on the air. I did not have a hamburger for fifteen years until D3 showed up. Don’t know whether to add my name to the letter or go back to Boca burgers. But seriously, if you don’t like something, get off your butt and change it. We just might get 30 Minute Meals and Property Virgins back. Top Chef needs us to raise our voices.

Laurie: Computer and television on the blitz—five days of unanswered email, no news or reality shows, wind chills of zero encouraging me to stay inside, and several assignments due first thing Monday morning. And now my jerky, perky coaching voice is telling me to REFRAME. I can do this. Practice what you preach, girlie. The alarm clock in the bedroom is a radio that I tuned to an all-news station, the shower radio is always tuned to an oldies-but-goodies station, and in the living room I threw on a brand new Jimmy Buffett CD that I received as a Christmas present. A different party for every room, and my forced quiet Sunday became one of the most productive and fun (yep, there was dancing and singing going on) days of 2009. Frames? We don’t need no stinkin’ frames!

elizabeth: I want my HGTV. You don’t even have to gift wrap it. 


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